Lin-Manuel Miranda might be most popular for his hit musicals “Hamilton” and “In The Heights,” yet he says his most recent film, “Vivo,” is his children’s “favorite thing I’ve ever worked on.”
“I am so glad that your kids now will all get to hear the thing that has been playing on a loop in my house for years,” Miranda said Saturday at a special screening of the film in New York City.
“Vivo,” Sony Pictures Animation’s first animated musical, which debuts Friday on Netflix, takes crowds on an experience from the roads of Havana to the muggy Everglades in Florida to the busy city of Miami as a musically gifted kinkajou named Vivo sets out on a heartfelt journey alongside unlikely friends following an unforeseen tragedy.
The story had been a meaningful venture of Miranda’s since 2009, when he began composing tunes for the film back when it was being created at DreamWorks. The task was racked and returned to by Sony Pictures Animation in 2015 get-togethers’ second hit Broadway musical, “Hamilton.”
Miranda, who wrote eight unique melodies for the film, is the voice of Vivo; he was additionally a leader maker. He brought along his standard innovative accomplices — Pulitzer Prize champ Quiara Alegría Hudes, who composed the book for the “In The Heights” musical, just as the screenplay for the film variation, and Alex Lacamoire, who worked with Miranda in “Hamilton.”
Alegría Hudes said during Saturday’s screening that when she got her hands on the content’s unique draft, she immediately understood that “the beating heart of the movie” was Vivo’s relationship with his dearest proprietor, Andrés, who is voiced by the incredible Cuban bandleader Juan de Marcos, most popular for his work with the Buena Vista Social Club.
Watchers see Andrés and Vivo’s very close kinship during the film’s initial number, “One of a Kind,” as the pair go through their days playing music to enthusiastic groups at Havana’s Plaza Vieja. The initial number’s scenes were straightforwardly enlivened by the creative team’s visit to Havana, just as by exhaustive photographic and archival material, as per Netflix.
Notwithstanding, Alegría Hudes wanted to bring “a whole different energy” that would balance Vivo’s relationship with his senior proprietor and carry a young soul to the film. So in light of her encounters with her more youthful sister, Alegría Hudes made a person named Gabi who might “just break the world open, like a piñata.”
Gabi, who is played by the Dominican American rising star Ynairaly Simo, offers to help Vivo following unforeseen events that persuade them to go to Miami and convey a secret love song to Andrés’ long-lost love, Marta Sandoval, a popular artist who is voiced by the Latin music symbol Gloria Estefan.
In a news release, Estefan said the love song, titled “Inside Your Heart (Para Marta),” was the fundamental explanation she chose to join the project.
“This very song that Marta would be singing … I just fell in love with it,” Estefan said. “Marta reminds me of Celia Cruz, who was one of my favorite people in the world, and I love that Vivo honors Cuban music in this way.”
Simo’s awesome character appears to be she brings the superbly unpredictable tween young lady Gabi to life. That turns out to be very obvious in the rich and infectious number “My Own Drum,” including Missy Elliott. The children bop without a doubt draws motivation from beatboxing, viral web-based media recordings, K-popular music, Katy Perry’s incredibly live exhibitions and Elliott’s rapping style.
While the person stands apart for her oddball and optimistic personality, Gabi’s reckless certainty hides her craving to fit in and foster genuine friendships.
Miranda said the character’s infectious joy “hides a lot of resilience.”
“I think that’s kind of the key to Gabi,” he said. “That every setback is, like, she rolls with it and she keeps on moving. I cannot tell you how fun it was writing ‘My Own Drum.’”
For Lacamoire, who experienced childhood in Miami with his Cuban guardians, chipping away at the musical number “Mambo Cabana” felt personal to him just as to his family. The arrangement centers on Andrés’ fantasy about heading out to Miami to reconnect with Marta during her retirement show.
“This is a very happy, joyous song, but when my mom heard the chorus and saw the movie taking place in Cuba, she started weeping for the joy of just feeling that kind of representation,” Lacamoire said after Saturday’s screening. “I just love being able to dig into this part of my roots, my family, my ancestry.”
For Miranda, “Vivo” is about how “music and love are precisely the same thing” for the characters. “It’s that timelessness of love, the timelessness of music and the unlikely friendships.”
The film additionally touches on themes of loss at a time when “we’ve all been touched by grief in some way or another” during the Covid pandemic, Miranda said. Discussing how to continue on and recollect those whom we have lost with love “I think couldn’t be more timely.”
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